Essential Oils for Empowering Women

Last week, I had lunch with a lady who had recently moved to my area. She is also an aromatherapist and has read lots of my books, and it was clear she was nervous about meeting someone she perceived as famous.

After I had put her at her ease by reminding her that I am a very ordinary person who is successful in the smallest of niches, she began to speak of how she struggles to be confident in her work.

In her own words, she suffers with imposter from imposter syndrome, which is a pandemic for women across the worldwide thought. So I would think about essential oils for empowering women with imposter syndrome.

I hear it a lot, but what’s fascinating is how shocked people seem when I say it has always plagued my life. That persistent feeling that I could be exposed for the fraud I most certainly am and that the world will inevitably come tumbling down at any time. It is strange when you suddenly discover that many other people feel the same.

Living With Imposter Syndrome

My parents would tell you I was born with it, always thinking everyone around me was cleverer than me, but I  can pinpoint when mine got terrible. First, I’d spent 5 years ghostwriting for other people; then, after having written seven Amazon number 1 best sellers for other people, I was persuaded by my friends and family to write some books in my name.

Ghostwriting had felt safe, never having to face the consequences of my writing, and suddenly I was right out there, exposed. I felt naked in front of a world of people quizzically looking at me, wondering what I was going to say, and eager to pinpoint any of my failings. I released six books the same day, and three days after the release, they had all gone to number 1. Six months later, I was awarded the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy’s UK Director position.

I think the speed of how things happened did me in. I went from being unknown to the forefront of a world stage in just six months, and in my head, it felt like the right time and place, and pretty soon, people would realize what a mistake they’d made. But instead, the International Federation of Aromatherapists called me and asked if I would speak at their conference, which stunned me. I’d imagined myself on a London stage which was exciting enough, but then they asked me to sit down and explained they wanted to fly me to Beijing.

Cultural Overload

I should tell you something about China…aromatherapists are rock stars. One evening the paparazzi were taking our pictures; the next, people were being pushed out of the toilet cubicles to stop them from trying to get a selfie with us. And all the time, I suspected that the bubble would burst…

It never did, of course, although I guess I still might; the imposter syndrome has, for the most part, gone. Essential oils didn’t get rid of it per se, but it was writing my Melissa book and learning the ways of the ancient Greek bee priestesses. Their practices were to explore the shadow parts of our minds and to bring them into the sunlight, which helped me tremendously then. So, indirectly, it was working with essential oils that did the trick. Even today, as I do the final edit on the books to be released this week, the little voice in my head is preparing me for the moment someone tells me something I have written is wrong.

But over the years, I have developed some pretty good protocols for the moments when the imposter syndrome appears. Ways to shift my thoughts into a space where I can maybe fake it till I make it out there.

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This Article about Essential Oils for Empowering Women is Based on Great Book….

If these are things that plague your thoughts, I recommend a great book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive Despite It by Valerie Young Ed.D. I enjoyed reading it; her work helped frame this article.

She categorizes imposter syndrome's "condition" into people with five different predominant thought patterns. I found it helpful to identify which one I am, which helped me challenge the thought processes better.

She talks of the perfectionist, the superwoman, the natural genius, the soloist, and the expert.

Looking at them helped me see more about myself and different oils that could help others.

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The Perfectionist

Imposter syndrome and perfectionism are bedfellows. That trait to set impossibly high standards for yourself always makes it difficult to achieve. There is a constant fear that they will never make things perfect and consequently feel like they will never measure up.

These people can control freaks. They micromanage the team around them and exhaust themselves by refusing to give autonomy. They sense that if they want something done right, they must do it themselves. They struggle to delegate, and if they do so, they frequently feel disappointed.

Anyone who has edited my work, or been to my house when a deadline is looming and had to climb over piles of washing, will tell you that this one is not me, but I have a clear picture of someone I know who is.

Young speaks of their propensity to only focus on the score that wasn’t quite 100%. They feel this is the one that defines them, rather than the ones that were. I went to school with a girl who scored 11 A*s in her exams and just one B. I’d never have remembered that except that the B. mortified her he spoke as if that one grade was the only score that mattered. Even as a child, I was moved by the pain it caused her. I didn’t understand it at all. I was just grateful to have scraped through!

Dr. Young describes the painful life these people lead and how unsatisfying it all feels. They struggle to celebrate successes or find contentment in what they have achieved. For these people, the stressful race to perfection often leads to burnout.

I’d recommend three essential oils for empowering women who are perfectionists.

1. Sweet Basil Oil

This oil is probably the most empowering oil; when I wrote my book about it, I called it the oil of Empowerment. She is like a significant sergeant shouting in your ear, demanding you get out of your head.

Funnily enough, I talk about that on the first page of the Melissa book I have just sent to the publishers.  It reads: 

I am frequently asked the same question in interviews. “Which was your favorite book to write?” The surprise that registers on their faces when I answer with so little thought makes me smile. I suspect they expect me to say Rose with its gentle, luxurious softness, but I had the most fun writing Sweet Basil. The oil that demands you get out of your head and “Just Do it” turned me into an unbridled force of confidence, positivity, and uninhibited sex. For the four months it took to write it, Volbeat’s fantastic song, Lola Montez, shook the shed where I write as the bold, sassy, indomitable scorpion goddess took form. Inhaling the molecules manifested a hurricane of activity and a radical personality change. I said what I wanted, did what I pleased, without a single thought for anyone else, and as people were left open-mouthed by my outrageous behavior, words flew onto the page. It was the best emotional holiday a worrier could ever have.

(You might be the first person to read that besides my editor. I had to show someone sometime, didn’t I?)

A tool that pushes you to act before you are ready is potent for perfectionists. It’s like the shove out of the plane when you have been checking your parachute for twenty minutes. It is the power to fly despite yourself. In creative terms, it's when the planning finally becomes a reality.

Pure action. A powerful thing for someone with imposter syndrome.

2. Cardamom Oil

The opposite end of the spectrum. This is your nighttime oil and the one that encourages me to shut down the screen. 

Cardamom encourages you to stop and look at how far you have come. No excuses. See the world the way everyone else is seeing it. Stop and take a look at the view. Perfectionism creates an unachievable upward climb, but the truth is that we can never be perfect. It’s impossible. Whatever we do will affect someone else somewhere along the line, somewhere.

At school, I was a linguistics scholar, and we studied a book called Huis Clos in French literature by Jean-Paul Satre. It means Closed Doors and is a fascinating study of existentialism. In other words, everything I do affects the people around me somehow. It tells the story of three people stuck in limbo before their funerals and how their innocuous actions create other people’s hell.

It was cumbersome for a 17-year-old, but it liberated me from the perfectionist ideal. But, unfortunately, it probably also freed me from having a tidy house!!!

Cardamom is a Turkish coffee in a Bedouin tent under the stars after a deliciously sweet exotic meal. It’s a strange moment in time that just makes you stop and take stock. It’s a magical thing. Cardamom helps you to see beauty in your mistakes, to take them in your stride, and to view them as mastery of the process. You might observe the beautiful woven carpet on your feet in the sand as you drink your coffee. Arabic mats are always made with a deliberate fault somewhere in the weave about the Muslim belief that only Allah is perfect. Cardamom seems to know that.

3. Grapefruit Oil

The ultimate fizz fest. Grapefruit kicks a can-can and shows everyone her knickers! She doesn’t give a flying fudge about what anyone else says. She is strong, sassy, and daft. Undignified, flirty, and relaxed. She’ll have you giving up on worries in no time. She’s got no time for imposter syndrome. She’s too busy being out there, living the dream.

The Superwoman/man

The problem with success when you have imposter syndrome is that you are always trying to cover the bases in case someone finds you out. That takes a hell of a lot of work. You’re always trying to be the best, in fact, better than the best, and there is no space for being anything less.

You work longer hours than everyone else, which is great for everyone on your team but not for your friends and family. As a result, hobbies get ignored, always in favor of the next deadline.

The validation from working and the relief when someone says your work is good is like a drug. For me, work is an addiction that I must be careful not to let get out of hand. It’s not the work, the fix, or the praise. It's a momentary relief from the stress of worrying that I’m not good enough. The priestess's work teaches me how clever I can be and validates me internally. I now have more power over my mind than the addiction. That said…here I am writing this on a Saturday morning when the sun is shining outside, so perhaps I am conning myself!

4. Sandalwood Oil

Slow down and stop. Take some time to decompress. Maybe blend this with some cardamom to consider how far you have come. Sandalwood's energy is soothing, meditative, and odd to say, but sexy. Not in an aphrodisiac way, but as if it has presence, like you feel solid and complete, as opposed to nervous and brittle.

It’s very masculine energy, and maybe that’s its secret. Quietly confident and reassured. Thinking about it from this angle makes me wonder if imposter syndrome might be part of our biology!

5. Cedarwood Oil

Removes negative thoughts and calms the mind. This doesn’t necessarily change the mindset, but it quietens doubt.

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6. Thyme Oil

Thyme somehow has an affinity with what my mom would call the minutiae. The small details, the niggles, the little background stuff.

It’s a very brave plant. It’s always been associated with courage. In days of yore, ladies would embroider pictures of thyme sprigs onto handkerchiefs to give to knights; It’s always been associated with the gods.

Thyme is gentle but courageous and noble. I find this is an excellent oil to choose if making a decision makes you feel like you are stepping on someone to get somewhere.

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The Natural Genius

I can identify several people who have this thought process. These people are naturally brilliant, so when things come quickly to them, they feel they haven’t put in as much effort as everyone else and thus doesn’t deserve to be as successful as someone else.

Most of them have grown up being the smart ones in the family and sailed through their exams. They often don’t need any coaching from people; they are just naturally very clever at picking things up. So they sit down at exams having not revised; write, put their pen down and leave. Their best friend behind them is usually exasperated that they’ll probably get higher marks even though they'll have done half the amount of work.

In short, they’ve never failed at anything in their life. They sailed through the whole teenage years and adolescence, which we all envy them for. But of course, they missed a valuable lesson, didn’t they? They’ve never learned the tools to get up from setbacks. When something finally comes hard to these people, getting back on the horse is complex, and the trauma is long-lived. It’s difficult for them to shake the memory that they fell at all but that they didn’t know what to do when they did.

Confidence drops through the floor, and their self-esteem suffers irreparable damage. 

Sandalwood and cedarwood are helpful here,  as is sweet basil, but here are some other choices.

Here, the energy of the essential oils for empowering women who identify with this natural genius thinking seem to be heavy, soothing base notes that help repair those unfinished foundations. 

7. Myrrh Oil

Bolstering, resilient and steadfast.

8. Patchouli Oil

Everything about patchouli speaks of embodiment. Helping you feel like you are back in the body you used to walk in. The old you.

Brings back your swagger.

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The Soloist

These people feel they have to do everything on their own, which makes them a tremendous asset to everyone around them. The problem for these people is their coping mechanism depends on their ability to cope with their workload. The second that they start to become overwhelmed by their enormous amount of work, their self-esteem breaks.

For these people, the inability to cope with their workload proves they weren’t good enough to be around these successful people in the first place.

This is nonsense because everyone else is succeeding because they have a team doing a large portion of their work.

These are essential oils for empowering women to leave the idea that they always have to be better than everyone else behind them. Instead, to trust that there are people who genuinely want to play a part in their success and that it is not a weakness to go and ask them to help them.

9. Lavender Oil

To take the anxiety out of asking for help.

Recommended Reading: What is Lavender Oil Good for?

10. Sweet Orange Oil

Such a positive oil; it feels like sunshine. There is something about it that boosts attractiveness. You feel more like people will like you, making it easier to ask people for what you need.

Recommended Reading: What is Sweet Orange Essential Oil Good For?

11. Palma Rosa Oil

This essential oil should be in every section because it can cut ties with the past. These patterns of behavior are just as binding as old loves. I always see Palma Rosa with a tremendous big chivalrous sword bringing down these things that hold us and liberating us for the future.

Plus…it smells lush!

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The Expert

This is me (combined with the natural genius thing, not because I consider myself to be one of those, but more that I didn’t have to strive for it for years).

I do think the aromatherapy community creates this insecurity for its members too.

We rank people by how many facts we have in our brains and how much scientific data we can regurgitate. But, sadly, we also seem to have a cultural desire to shoot anyone down who doesn’t think the same way as we do about safety. Consequently, I believe there are a lot of aromatherapists who feel this way.

It’s silly too if you think about it. We’re not at the end of the line where everything will be known today. Every year, we understand things slightly differently from how we understood them last year. Knowledge evolves, grows, and changes.

You only have to look at the word “Neurology” to see how salient that is. Now, we know that a brain cell - a neuron - can’t do anything without the action of glia, the cells that make up the jelly of the brain. Several Nobel prizes for medicine were overwritten when scientists realized that the secrets of creativity lie not in the neurons but the glia. Twenty years from now, neurology may be outdated because it’s not neurons that run our brain. Does that render neurological knowledge obsolete…or indeed wrong? Of course, it doesn’t. Learning changes and develops. It simply adds to our understanding.

These essential oils empower women to trust their thought processes and reassure them that they know enough.

12. Melissa Oil

A gorgeously hopeful oil helps you look at life and see beauty. Trials show that not only does it speed mental processing, but it does it without us feeling drowsy. (Kennedy, 2003)It has a superb action on menstrual issues too, so this is a tremendous oil to choose if you would generally be on top of your game, but now your hormones are derailing you. 

13. Vetiver Oil

The oil of tranquility also allows us to concentrate and remember.

Recommended Reading: How To Use Vetiver Oil

How to Use Essential Oils for Empowering Women

Truthfully, you could use the essential oils in any way you wanted, whether in the bath (although grapefruit in the tub is a bit spiteful) or massage oils, creams, and lotions.

For me, inhalation is always going to be the champion here. We want to affect thoughts, so sniffing the oils is the fastest and most efficient way.

I wear an aroma pendant because I am so absent-minded that I’d forget to use a sniffy stick. However, essential oil inhalers are fabulous choices.

You might consider making a roller ball of a blend to put into the insides of your wrists to work in harmony with that.

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Creating Blends of Essential Oils for Empowering Women

 Blends of Essential Oils for Empowering Women

One final point, the ultimate essential oil for empowering women in all aspects of their life, is jasmine. A Sanskrit is saying that where there is Jasmine, there can be no worry. It embodies the masculine side of femininity. It is sensual, passive, and intense.

I’ll build that into a few of my blends.

Blend of Essential Oils for Empowering Women Who Identify as Perfectionists

Method of Use: Wear for thirty minutes each day. (Wearing it for longer is fine) 

To make a roller ball, add 9ml of Grapeseed Carrier Oil. Apply to the insides of the wrists up to seven times a day.

Safety: Leave out Jasmine during pregnancy.

Aroma Pendant Blend of Essential Oils for Empowering Women Who Identify as Super Woman

Method of Use: Wear for thirty minutes each day. (Wearing it for longer is fine) 

To make a roller ball, add 9ml of Grapeseed Carrier Oil. Apply to the insides of the wrists up to seven times a day. 

Safety: Do not use this topically in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Blend of Essential Oils for Empowering Women Who Identify as Natural Geniuses

Method of Use: Wear for thirty minutes each day. (Wearing it for longer is fine) 

To make a roller ball, add 9ml of Grapeseed Carrier Oil. Apply to the insides of the wrists up to seven times a day. 

Safety: Please remove Jasmine during pregnancy. Do not use this topically in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Blend of Essential Oils for Empowering Women Who Identify as Soloists

Method of Use: Wear for thirty minutes each day. (Wearing it for longer is fine) 

To make a roller ball, add 9ml of Grapeseed Carrier Oil. Apply to the insides of the wrists up to seven times a day. 

Safety: Do not use this topically in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Blend of Essential Oils for Empowering Women Who Identify as Experts

Method of Use: Wear for thirty minutes each day. (Wearing it for longer is fine) 

To make a roller ball, add 9ml of Grapeseed Carrier Oil. Apply to the insides of the wrists up to seven times a day. 

Safety: Do not use this topically in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.


I heartily recommend Dr. Young’s book. It gave me so much to think about; however, please consider using essential oils for imposter syndrome. Take some time to investigate your way around why you might be feeling the way you do, and hopefully, you might even be able to free yourself from it. I hope so because if there is one thing I believe in in this life, it is the incredible power of women.

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